W.W. Wakefield – the one that got away

Born 10 March 1898, Beckenham, England
Died 12 August 1983, Kendal, England,



Cambridge University (Blue)
Royal Air Force

Most people think of the great Wavell Wakefield as a member of the RAF, especially as he captained their rugby team with distinction. However before he crossed the great divide he was a member of the Royal Naval Air Service. He was one of the many Service member who after the war took up the option of returning to university, choosing Cambridge who he captained in the 1922 victorious Varsity campaign. He made his England debut in 1920 playing alongside the two great navy half backs Kershaw and Davis who must therefore have been somewhat remise in not persuading the young Wavell to stick with the dark blue. Wakefield became the first England international inducted in to the International Hall of Fame.

Wavell spent a remarkable fifty years involved with the development of rugby football and left a lasting legacy to youth rugby. He was also an excellent 440 yard sprinter, cricketer and skier. Finally he was Mentioned in Despatches during the First World War.